New figures released on June 23 show that the BBC’s global audience has increased to a record-breaking 265 million people a week. The figures, for 2013/14, represent an increase of 9 million people on the previous year.

The Global Audience Estimate (GAE) measures the combined reach of the BBC’s international services – BBC World Service, BBC World News, and BBC Media Action – across the world. Russia has shown the biggest growth for a single market, with the audience more than doubling to 6.9 million weekly as people turn to the BBC for trustworthy and impartial news. The BBC’s Ukrainian Service also reflects this trend with its audience more than trebling to more than 600,000 over the last year.

BBC World News TV shows an increase of 5 million viewers, taking its weekly audience to 76 million. The Indian audience has grown, and shows signs of recovering from the last few years of decline. This comes thanks to investments in digital and TV for the Hindi Service; including the launch of the Global India programme on TV, which pulls in 6 million weekly viewers; and an increase in World News viewers. These increases more than offset the loss of shortwave listeners to the Hindi Service.

BBC digital news services have continued to grow, with an 8 million, or 21 percent, year on year increase bringing the digital audience to 46 million. Peter Horrocks, Director of the BBC World Service Group, said: “Today’s figures show the most successful year ever for the BBC’s global news services.”

“The BBC plays a vital role in troubled times. We know that people around the world turn to the BBC when other impartial information is in short supply, and this is borne out by the sharp increase in audiences in Russia and Ukraine.